The following are excerpts from an 11-minute homily bu Father Joseph Illo, pastor of Star of the Sea parish in the Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco on Sunday, Feb. 11, three days before Ash Wednesday.

Lent is fasting.,,, Never before in the history of this planet have people had so much access to calories. So it’s hard to think about not eating and drinking. Fasting is the tradition of the Church, because the original sin was not fasting. God said, “Don’t eat. Fast from that tree.”

Fasting is eating one meal a day with two snacks or smaller meals. Another way of fasting is fasting from preferred foods. From sweets, alcohol. And even from media, entertainment, gossip. Fasting should humble us to see others with more charity.

We measure our love against that of Christ who laid down His life for us. Our Lord says a ragged roadside beggar, someone most did not see. In a city of 13 million people, 50-60,000 beggars,

Lent’s purpose is charity to fast, pray, and give alms to cleanse our soul, so it is open to God.